Friday, 29 March 2013

Special Showcase Week!

At the end of each month, the Guild hosts a 'Special Showcase' featuring notable new creations.  March proved to be a very creative month for members and our slideshow bears this out with an impressive 91 new designs!

Here are a few super examples to whet your appetite ...

'Finlay' by Cheryl Hutchinson from the USA

'Caramba' by Ellen Borggreve from The Netherlands

'Jonty Jolly' by Jo Nevill from the UK

'Otto' by Tami Eveslage from the USA

'Ono' by Renee Hutmacher from Luxembourg

Such beautiful workmanship! Would you like to see more?  
I thought so ... who could resist?!  

We would love you to visit our website to enjoy our full 'Special Showcase' slideshow presentation:


Have a fun-filled weekend and let's catch up again soon!

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Wishing you a Happy Easter!

Seasonal celebrations always provide perfect opportunities to inspire members to create special offerings.  Naturally at this time of year, it's fun to watch Easter bunnies arriving on the Guild ...

'Clarabell' by Carol Parsons from the USA

'Mopsy' by Pauline Wood from the UK

'Belle Bunny' created by Helen Clennel-White from the UK

'Panda Bunnies' by Berta Hesen Minten from the Netherlands

'Bundle' created by Claire Ryan from the UK

... not to mention the occasional needle felted mouse bearing Easter chocolate!

'Myrtle' by Nichole Encinas from the USA

 And of course, an Easter basket bursting with chocolate eggs and teddy is always a pleasure!

'Springtime' by Pat Berkowitch from the USA

Thank you so much for visiting the Guild blog this Easter!  

We wish you a very Happy Easter holiday!

Monday, 25 March 2013

A Bear by Design

The scope for teddy bear design is limited only by Guild members' imaginations and it's plain to see they enjoy stretching this wonderful art form as far as possible towards the teddy design horizon; but no matter how far the humble teddy bear evolves, he can today, be categorized as either primarily traditional, or contemporary in design.

Those two fundamental design categories can of course be sub-divided; for example, traditional comfortably stretches to modern classic and vintage style ...

Classic bear by Gregory Gyllenship from the UK

Modern classic by Yvonne Andrew from the UK

Vintage style bear by Lyn Brimbin from Australia

And contemporary encompasses a broad range of techniques and styles from fun character studies, through to fantasy, anime, needle-felted bears and beyond ...

Contemporary character bear by Michelle Lamb from the US

Fantasy bear by Zhanna Rassi from The Lebanon

Anime style bear by Bry Richardson from the UK

Needlefelted bear by Denise Casey from the US

The 'Realistic grizzly bear' perches on the periphery of both primary categories; the 'on all fours' teddy design existed historically and on one side of the coin, some designs today pay homage to that historical style, whilst others take the design a stage further with the use of contemporary techniques, whilst retaining an undeniably engaging traditional teddy bear charm ... then of course, there are bearcrafters inspired by the natural world, who breathe realistic grizzly ferocity into this challenging design style ...

Traditional 'on all fours' grizzly bear by Beth Hutchison from the US

Teddy charm in this contemporary grizzly by Kelly Dean from the US

Fiercely realistic grizzly by Heidi Hollis from the US

As you can see, Guild Bearcrafters are passionate about teddy bear design.  They focus on improvement, development, evolution and education, but above all, they love their work and want it to bring happiness to teddy bear collectors. 

There are many more styles of bear yet to learn about from panda bears, to thread art bears, dressed bears to vignette presentations, mini bears to magnificent big bears ... and plenty more besides.  

We hope you enjoy our work and look forward to sharing more tidbits from our Guild of Master Bearcrafters with you in future!

Friday, 22 March 2013

Those were the days my friend ..

Imagine yourself immersed in teddy bears of every colour, size, shape and style and you will begin to grasp the joy my role as Guild Administrator brings me.  New creations arrive on the Guild daily and as they arrive, I sort them into themed presentation albums to help inspire our members.  From these categorized albums, I have the task of creating one special showcase presentation to run on the Guild website home page for visitors to enjoy each week.  The slideshow theme changes every Friday, as part of 'Guild Update Day' and it is so much fun to put together!

'Shimmytime Spencer' created by US member Brenda Pollock-Smith

Today's special slideshow entitled 'Those were the days my friend', showcases members' vintage style creations ...

Created by Jamie Taylor from the US

These beautiful 'old souls' are artfully distressed to lend them a careworn, nostalgic air.

Created by Nicky Fraser from the UK

Creating authentic looking venerable bears is a highly skilled art form.  Besides designing suitable vintage type patterns and mastering appropriate stuffing and jointing techniques, it is also necessary to select appropriate materials to work with the processes involved in successfully ageing a teddy bear.  These bears may look frail and elderly, but the trick is to ensure they remain every bit as strong as their modern looking counterparts.

'Nate' created by Vicky Allum from the UK

I hope you have enjoyed this brief glimpse at the work of some of our talented vintage style Guild Bearcrafters.  

If you would like to see more of their amazing creations, please visit the Guild website before next Friday, to enjoy the slideshow in full.


Thank you!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Five Featured Artists

Every Friday, the Guild celebrates the work of five outstanding 'Featured Artists,' each of whom is carefully selected on the basis of creativity, originality and outstanding workmanship.  Our 'Five Featured Artists' are given a pat on the back by their Guild colleagues for setting a very high creative standard ... a standard which, as you can see from last week's offerings below, is utterly inspirational!

'Osha' created by Zhanna Rassi from the Lebanon

'Bears in Bustles' created by Brenda Pollock-Smith from the US

'Spring Cheer' created by Sue Jennings from the UK

'Racoon & Badger' created by Elena Karmatskaya from Russia

'Tulip' created by Oxana Lyashenko from Canada

'Simona' created by Olga Startseva/Anna Goncharova from France

For anyone who thinks teddy bears are just cuddly toys for children, I hope this blog will begin to explain the teddy bear can also be a highly artistic and inspirational expression of creativity for adults too!

Challenging!

To keep the creative juices flowing, the Guild hosts an enthusiastic challenge group and the first challenge of 2013 is now up and running!

'PLAYING WITH PUPPETS'


'Back in the 1960's a simple little glove puppet bear captured a nation's heart and to this day, Harry Corbett's 'Sooty' is loved by children all around the world.'

1. BASIC CHALLENGE:

Choose from one of the following styles of puppet:
a) Glove Puppet
b) Cone Puppet

Choose one of the following themes:

2. ADVANCED CHALLENGE:

a) The Circus
b) Nostalgia

Group members are challenged to design and create their chosen puppet to fit their chosen theme.  The puppet may be made from any materials and if preferred, may be created as an accessory for one of their usual teddy bear creations.

Choose from one of the following styles of puppet:

a) Marionette
b) Ventriloquist's Dummy
c) Rod Puppet

Choose from one of the following themes:

a) Steam Punk
b) Carnival
c) Nostalgia
d) The Circus

Group members are challenged to design and create their chosen puppet to fit their chosen theme.  The puppet may be made from any materials and if preferred, may be created to be used as an accessory for one of their usual teddy bear creations.

Our Guild 'challengees' are an imaginative bunch and have created some excellent challenge submissions in the past, some of which have been published in specialist teddy bear magazines. It will be exciting to see what they come up with this time!

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Welcome to the Guild of Master Bearcrafters' blog!

When I first created 'The Guild of Master Bearcrafters' back in 2009, I had no idea whether it would become a thriving venture, or whether it was more likely to idly gather dust in a virtual corner of the World Wide Web.

My original idea was to create an exclusive online venue for serious minded teddy bear artists to meet, somewhere they could gather to chat privately about their craft and where it was heading ... so little could I predict that four years later Guild membership would have grown to almost seven hundred dedicated international bear artists!

The Guild now offers bearcrafters an opportunity to showcase their latest works, encouraging professionalism both in terms of workmanship and business acumen.  Whilst not elitist, there is an important entry criteria for membership as all Guild members are required to prove their commitment to teddy bear artistry by having designed and sold their own range of teddy bears for at least one year and must also show artistic flair in their work.

As you can see from the slideshow of Guild members' creations below, the quality of collectible bear art currently being created for collectors around the world is outstanding!



For me, Friday has become 'Guild Update Day'.  Each Friday morning, I put the kettle on, pour a mug of coffee and set aside a few hours to showcase members' work for Guild visitors and what a pleasure is is for me to share these amazing works of creativity!  Our Guild members live and work all around the globe, from countries as far afield as Australia, America, Canada, New Zealand, Russia, Israel, Lithuania, South Africa, Singapore, Germany, the UK, Italy, France and beyond ... it really is wonderful to see such amazing teddy bears being created in so many far flung countries!

I am looking forward to introducing you to our members' talents from time to time on this shiny new Guild blog, so please add us to your blog list and pop back regularly to keep in touch with our wonderful world of teddy bear delights!
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